Thursday, August 27, 2009

WOMAN OF THE WEEK: THE WOMEN OF HALLOWEEN

WELCOME TO THE 25TH WOMAN OF THE WEEK! This week I decided to do something a little fun and it took me more than one day to put it all together. With the release of Rob Zombie's Halloween II this weekend, I figured what better way to celebrate this momentous accomplishment for DotW than to feature the women of Halloween. We all know and love the man, the Shape, the masked one himself; Michael Myers...but it can be said that the Halloween franchise wouldn't be the way it is without those screaming sirens. Thank-you ladies for being the quintessential final girls and absolutely stunning Scream Queens. NOTE: I'm featuring the women that I feel made an impact, not every single woman who ever appeared in a film. So sorry Tyra, you're not getting a shout out.




P.J. Soles for her portrayal as Lynda Van Der Klock.
On the night of October 31st, 1978, one Lynda Van Der Klock had planned to meet up with her friends [Annie Blackett and her boyfriend Paul] at the Wallace resident for some "fun". Little does Lynda know, Annie has been murdered by Michael Myers. Thus, sets us up for one of the most iconic scenes from Halloween ever. Lynda has sex with her boyfriend Bob when he goes downstairs for a beer. While he is downstairs Michael pins him to the wall with a knife. He then disguises himself as Bob by wearing a white sheet over his head and Bob's glasses. Lynda of course believes it to be Bob and begins to flash him her breasts. Now, as a completely heterosexual female, P.J. Soles looks pretty decent naked, especially for the 70's. She gets up to call her buddy Laurie Strode to see if she knows where Annie and Paul are. The second that Laurie picks up, Michael Myers grabs the phone cord and strangles Lynda with it. Of course Laurie assumes its a prank call and just hangs up the phone. Lynda falls dead and Laurie finds them later on.

Nancy Loomis for her portrayal of Annie Brackett
Annie is one of Laurie Strode's best friends, and the daughter of Haddonfield sheriff, Leigh Brackett. On Halloween night, she is babysitting "little Lindsey Wallace" across the street from Laurie, and the two friends gossip over the phone throughout the evening. After dropping Lindsey off with Laurie in order to go and meet her boyfriend Paul, Annie is murdered by Michael Myers, who strangles her in her car before slitting her throat. Michael then sets up her corpse for Laurie to find, leaving her in the Wallaces' bed with Judith Myers' tombstone

Ellie Cornell for her portrayal as Rachel Carruthers
Rachel is probably one of my favorites because she's so dedicated into helping those around her. Laurie was more "save me save me, I'm a Final Girl, I can't die!" Rachel was more concerned about her little Jamie than she was anyone. Rachel Carruthers is the only child of Richard and Darlene Carruthers. Little else is known about her life before late October 1988. However, through her own admission, Laurie Strode, Jamie's mother- did baby-sit her when she was younger. The character of Rachel only makes a quick appearance in Halloween 5 before being killed off and having her role as Jamie's protector taken over by her friend Tina. At the beginning of the movie, Michael stalks Rachel around her house after she gets out of the shower and eventually kills her by stabbing her in the chest with a pair of scissors. Near the end of the movie, Rachel's body makes one final appearance in the attic that Michael chases Jamie into.


Wendy Kaplan as Tina Williams
She was best friends with Rachel Carruthers, Samantha Thomas, and Lindsey Wallace. Her boyfriend was Mike Gonland. As Jamie had thoughts and dreams of Michael Myers, Tina ignored her and went to a party with Samantha and Spitz looking for Mike. Mike had been murdered earlier by Michael Myers. She then went to the tower farm where Jamie and Billy Hill followed. After Samantha and Spitz were murdered, Tina saw Michael in the farm. She ran outside and saw two officers, dead. Michael went in his car and chased Jamie, Billy, and Tina in the woods. Tina eventually was stabbed sacrificing herself to save Jamie.

Sheri Moon Zombie as Deborah Myers
She is the mother of Judith and Michael Myers as well as the real mother of Laurie Strode. She does not know that her son is mentally unstable, nor that Michael kills animals as a habit. While working at a strip club she misses seeing Michael killing her abusive boyfriend, Ronnie, Judith, and Judith's boyfriend, Steve. After this, Michael is put in custody; Deborah later witnesses her son attacking a nurse and killing her. When she returns home, Deborah commits suicide by shooting herself while watching old home videos of Michael. She's going to be in the 2009 remake sequel bewigged...here's hoping it doesn't totally kill the character.

Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace
She first appears in Halloween babysat by Annie Brackett (who makes teenagers babysit on Halloween...honestly?) After Annie leaves the Wallaces' house to go and pick up her boyfriend, Paul, she leaves Lindsey with Laurie who is babysitting Tommy Doyle at his house(once again, babysitting on Halloween???). Before leaving to pick up her boyfriend, Annie is killed by The Shape himself. Lindsey is then seen asleep with Tommy while Laurie goes and checks on Annie, Paul, and her friends, Lynda and Bob. Lindsey and Tommy later open the door for Laurie as she is chased back into the house by the Shape. After locking themselves in the bathroom and Laurie being attacked twice, Laurie tells them to go to the Mackenzies' house. She appears in Halloween II in a recap of the first film's final moments.

Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd
Jamie suffers from nightmares about her uncle Michael, and in the 5th film of the series, she and him share almost a telepathic connection. The fourth film is heartbreaking because for the first time you see Michael out and intending to harm a little girl and her foster sister Rachel. She ran around town in a clown costume and screamed for almost the entire film. My favorite scene is one that isn't even as "memorable" and its watching her being teased for being related to Haddonfield's Boogeyman. My heart strings pulled for that little girl! However, who can forget at the end of the 4th film when Jamie is shown at the top of the stairs with the clown mask on weilding a knife. The 5th film Jamie is rendered a mute and suffers from seizures. Scary enough, her connection with Michael hasn't gone away and she goes into convulsions whenever he is about to kill. Myers tracks down his niece in his childhood home after Loomis takes her. By addressing him as "Uncle," she gets him to pause and remove his mask. I swear to you, that is the most insane moment of the whole film. You know it's not going to work and that Michael is going to get her, but you don't know when. So for that little girl to pull that off...is DAMN impressive.
Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode
Love the remake or hate it, Scout does a damn fine job in it. It is true that absolutely no one can even TOUCH the performance of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, but I will admit that I enjoyed myself watching Scout. She has real powerful screaming lungs, she can be beat the crap out of and still look hot and I'll admit it...she's pretty convincing as an actress. Sue me. I like her.
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
Combining sex appeal, innocence and feminine strength in a way never before seen in the horror genre, the second generation starlet was more than a character--she was an archetype. In the sex-drenched world of the 1970s, Laurie's character chooses not to indulge in the carnal desires of her friends, sublimating her libidinal energies into a force of shocking violence in the face of violence. Confronted with the threat of the Shape, she diverts her pent-up sexuality into a destructive force that is the only thing which saves her life. Now that's girl power, people. amie Lee Curtis would make one more return to horror, reprising her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween II--the sequel in which young Laurie discovers that she is actually Michael Myers' sister. would be 20 years after the original Halloween that Jamie Lee Curtis was finally lured back to the world of blood and guts to once again contend with Myers in the underrated Halloween: 20 Years Later (1998), followed by one final cameo as Laurie in the decidedly inferior Halloween: Resurrection (2002).
AND FINALLY...Debra Hill
We always associate Halloween, Michael Myers, Jamie Lee Curtis, and all things of that sort with John Carpenter...but did you know that he wasn't the full brains behind the operation? That's right, Michael Myers does have a mother...and her name is Debra Hill. John Carpenter even credits her as being the other half of the 50/50 writing cred for Halloween, Halloween II, and Halloween III: Season of the Witch. She also worked alongside him in The Fog. Outside of working with Carpenter, she produced The Dead Zone, Head Office, Escape from NY, World Trade Center, and two of my favorite cult classics: Clue and Adventures in Babysitting. Little clues about her personal life lend a hand in the making of Michael Myers' storyline. For example, Haddonfield was named after Hill's birthplace in Haddonfield, New Jersey. She also helped Carpenter pay homage to Alfred Hitchcock by giving many characters name related to his characters. For example, the decision to name Dr. Loomis after Janet Leigh's boyfriend in Psycho. Hell, it was Debra Hill who thought casting Jamie Lee Curtis would be brilliant once she found out she was Janet Leigh's daughter.

4 comment(s):

NoWhere MaN said...

Yes, we can all be thankful you didnt include Tyra Banks and J.C. Brandy for that matter.

The Curious Cat said...

Man sometimes your blog can be infuriating - my computer doesn't like it and I end up writing a long comment only to lose it! Grrr...your blog is also flipping excellent so I'm desperate to write something and won't give up! LOVED this entry! I love the Halloween movies - though I've only seen Halloween, Halloween II and 20 years later - want to go watch the others now - if I dare (or read wikipedia!). It was interesting to find out that Debra Hill made those links - I love how Jamie Lee Curtis followed in her mother's footsteps and I loved how Janet leigh also did a cameo appearance in 20 years later too and they had hints of psycho music in the background... You write so well - you should see if you can get a job on one of those film magazines - you could become their horror guru! xxx

Coop said...

I studied under Debra Hill in film school. We had a conversation about Halloween III once. Apparently it's her least-complimented work and she appreciated that I dug it. She will be missed.

atomicfox said...

i love this post! besides jamie lee curtis of course, danielle harris is by far my favorite actress in all of the halloween movies. she did an amazing job as a kid in 4 & 5 and i loved how she got brought back to play annie bracket in the remake.
check out my horror movie blog for the latest horror news and the occasional creepy treasure!
http://atomicfox.blogspot.com/
thanks! :)

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